Six correctional counselors involved in a beating of two inmates at a California youth prison in have been fired for misconduct, the Los Angeles Times reports. In a case that drew national attention, the California Youth Authority concluded that the employees had used unnecessary force and made false statements about the Jan. 20 episode. A graphic videotape of the incident was shown at a legislative hearing in April; it fueled calls for reform of California’s prison system.
The counselors will appeal their terminations. They are “people of high integrity who were trying to do the right thing,” said an official with the prison guards union. The incident began as two counselors were talking with two inmates in a Stockton facility. After an inmate punched a counselor in the nose, a scuffle ensued. A videotape showed the counselors wrestling the inmates to the floor, where one counselor sat astride an inmate and punched him 28 times in the head. A second counselor drove his knee into an inmate’s neck several times and appeared to kick the inmate in the face after he had been handcuffed.